Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits of ethical fashion brands and supporting companies which have values that align with my own, such as American Rhino. Ethical and sustainable fashion is what is known as slow fashion – aka the opposite of fast fashion. These brands are more conscious about how their products are manufactured and distributed. The more I research on the subject, the more benefits I come across. Read on to see what I’ve learned so far!
Benefits of Ethical Fashion Brands: They Create Less Waste
While sustainable pieces may be a little pricier, it’s because they are made with higher quality materials and crafting, making them more durable. In short, they are meant to last a lot longer – resulting in less waste, less products in the garbage, and eventually less fodder for landfills.
Reducing our carbon footprint is extremely important for the environment – it turns out that the fashion industry is responsible for 10 % of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. When we strive to purchase higher quality clothes, and do so less often, this is a lot better for the environment than shopping at fast fashion companies every other month and buying pieces that fall apart after a couple washes.
It’s simple: if we buy less, we throw out less. So let’s buy things that will last!
They Support Fairer & Safer Working Conditions
Generally, ethical and sustainable fashion brands pay fair wages typically above average for workers in their location. American Rhino for example has 95% of their collection made in Kenya and Eastern Africa, supporting traditional craftsmanship and local artisans. Their Kenyan weaving partner is a Fair Trade company to ensure they are supporting fair working conditions.
Benefits of Ethical Fashion Brands: They Conserve Wildlife
Eco friendly fashion brands make a commitment to be environmentally conscious. For example, 10% of every American Rhino purchase goes to the American Rhino Foundation to prevent poaching there. American Rhino’s initial grant helped the launch of the Maasai Mara Rhino Rangers, a specialized group of Kenyan rangers selected to become a highly trained anti-poaching unit in the Maasai Mara National Reserve wilderness.
They Utilize All Materials & Prevent Poaching
Part of being environmentally friendly is how fashion brands source their materials.
American Rhino partners with the largest tannery in East and Central Africa, which has received a Gold Rating from the Leather Working Group and is dedicated to sustainability and ethical practices. They source and collect hides from pastoralists throughout Eastern Africa before they become waste, ensuring that no cattle have been killed for the purpose of leather goods. Contributing to the pastorlists’ income diminishes their need to earn in other ways, such as poaching wildlife.
They Save Water
Water is a huge waste in the fashion industry. Use of organic cotton reduces water consumption by 91%, though only 1% of the industry uses organic cotton, so it’s important to research what kind of materials are being used in your clothing. Knowing this statistic makes me appreciate American Rhino’s organic cotton materials even more.
What are your favorite ethical fashion brands?
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